"The remaining work of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar will be taken up with accelerated pace to make it an ultramodern medical institute," the Union Home Minister told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.

Efforts would be made to strengthen the infrastructure of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar and make it better and more advanced than AIIMS, New Delhi to fulfill the dreams of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had mooted the project, he said.

Steps are being taken to open new departments like mental health and neurosciences, cancer, cardiothoracic and cardiac surgery and occupational medicine at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar. Activities of AYUSH would also be strengthened to ensure proper coordination with modern medical sciences.

About central assistance to the Centre to the state, he said it has already been decided to set up a satellite campus of AIIMS at Balasore with a 300-bed hospital and necessary measures would be taken to expedite it.

Vardhan, who visited AIIMS-Bhubaneswar campus and reviewed its functioning, said he has urged the chief minister to provide required assistance to build facilities like dharmshalas to accommodate attendants of indoor patients.

The need to upgrade some medical colleges to super speciality centres and discussion was emphasised and discussions held to convert some district hospitals into medical colleges, he added.

The union health minister said there is need to transform health awareness campaign into a mass movement with the cooperation of the state governments.

Such a movement can effectively check hypertension, diabetes, cancer, blindness, infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate, he said underlining the need to focus on prevention of different diseases.

During the meeting, the chief minister urged him to take steps to open a geriatric centre at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, a release from CMO said.

Patnaik also sought more financial assistance for infrastructure development for allotment of more seats for the three government medical colleges and other private medical colleges of the state.

A charter of demands presented to the union health minister sought among other things setting up of an institute like NIMHANS in the state and an allocation of Rs 530.55 crore for upgrading facilities at the three government run medical colleges.

(Agencies)

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